Cajun Navy in Alabama helping with tornado search and rescue

Cajun Navy in Alabama helping with tornado search and rescue

OPELIKA, AL (WAFB) - Around a dozen 2016 Cajun Navy members traveled to Alabama before dawn Monday, Mar. 4 to help with recovery efforts after devastating tornadoes tore through east Alabama over the weekend.

“We’re seeing some pretty bad destruction,” 2016 Cajun Navy head, Jon Bridgers, said Monday in a FaceTime interview with WAFB. “These homes didn’t stand a chance.”

Bridgers says his group is working with local law enforcement to find a handful of people who have been reported missing. He says as many as 26 people had not been found when he and his group were briefed early Monday morning.

Cajun Navy members arrive in Alabama to help with recovery efforts

At the time of the interview (1 p.m.), 23 had been confirmed dead.

Bridgers says Monday afternoon, he was assigned to find a missing man whose daughter had died during the storm.

“He’s here somewhere,” he said. “We’re just trying to find him and bring some closure to his family.”

Bridgers added he’s trying to share as many photographs and videos on social media as possible, hoping to inspire people to donate after seeing the devastation left in the tornadoes’ wake.

Members of other factions of Louisiana’s Good Samaritans, including the United Cajun Navy, are also stationed in Alabama.

“We’re playing a small part and trying to make a difference,” Bridgers said. “It’s kind of heartbreaking to walk through this area and everybody’s possessions are on the ground. There’s pictures everywhere.”

The Red Cross of East Alabama is accepting monetary donations online and Bridgers says he will post more detailed donation information on the 2016 Cajun Navy Facebook page.

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